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In order to choose the laminate floor
type that's right for your home, we recommend that you first familiarize yourself with the laminate patterns, forms and
construction types. Who knows, you may discover that the laminate flooring that's right for you is one you never knew
existed! Read the following section to learn helpful facts on laminate flooring and make the selection process a little
Laminate floors are constructed using layers of several different materials. The following components make up the 4
After these layers are created separately, high–pressure machines bond them together to form laminate floor
planks. These floor planks use a tongue and groove locking mechanism called "click and lock." This type of locking device
allows laminate floors to be installed without being attached to the subfloor using the floating method.
It is important that you allow the laminate to acclimate (adjust to environment) prior to installation. (This could
take hours or days depending on your environment. Always refer to your manufacturer's instructions or speak to a flooring
professional to determine approximate duration). By allowing the laminate floor material to acclimate, you'll reduce the
risk of planks cupping, bowing, or distorting after installation.
There are two different ways in which laminate flooring is made: Direct–Pressure Laminate (DPL) and
High–Pressure Laminate (HPL).
This standard laminate construction is created by pressing the 4 laminate floor layers together between 300 and
600lbs/inch of pressure at a temperature around 300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In HPL, the construction process is similar to direct pressure, but the bottom layer and top layers are treated
separately and fused directly to the core layer. There are usually 5 or more layers with high pressure as opposed to 4 layers
with direct pressure laminate floors. The extra layers and stabilizing process makes HPL more resilient to heavy traffic, and
generally more expensive than DPL types. HPL is pressed together at over 1000lb/inch at a temperature around 300 to 400
Glueless laminate flooring is the most common type of installation. This type of laminate has a locking mechanism called
"click and lock." Glueless laminate is available in a wide variety of colors, designs, and imitation floor prints such as
wood, stone, tile and bamboo.
This laminate floor type comes with an attached underlayment, usually foam or cork, which can help reduce sound
transmission and/or provide moisture protection.
In glued laminate flooring, tongue–and–groove areas require special formulated glue in order to bond
together. This is the original form of laminate and is rarely used in present–day construction.
Just as its name implies, pre–glued laminate comes with glue already applied to all of the
tongue–and–groove areas. Just wet the planks (to activate glue) and put them together. With this type of
installation, a thin underlayment is typically needed to prevent the glue from sticking to the surface (substrate) and reduce
the chance of moisture damage.
High–quality pictures are used on the surface of laminate flooring allowing laminate to offer a wide assortment of
colors, textures, and floor imitations. You can purchase a bamboo or hardwood laminate floor that looks almost as authentic
as the real thing! Review some of the options below to see what a laminate floor can do for your home or office.
Hardwood laminate floors can be made to resemble many different types of wood, from Red Oak to Brazilian Cherry. The wide
array of choices makes this the most popular variety of laminate flooring. Note: To some extent,
hardwood laminate is greener than authentic hardwood floors, as sourcing real hardwood often contributes to deforestation.
(Learn more about laminate's lifecycle on Green.FindAnyFloor.com)
This type of laminate resembles a tile floor, without the labor of heavy tile and grouting.
Obtain the appearance of high–quality marble or slate floors with stone laminate flooring. Stone laminate can
imitate the durability and beauty of stone, slate, granite and marble for a lesser price.
Textured laminate floors are created by embossing, wherein heat and pressure are applied to give the laminate a raised
surface pattern and create a less slippery surface.
Smooth laminate floors offer a flat surface without texture.
Hardwood laminate floors can have the feel of real hardwood. Planks can be embossed to copy the texture of simple
Laminate floors can look just like distressed or hand–scraped flooring. This process is done by machine, not by
hand as it often is in hardwood flooring. Distressed laminate provides an aged look.
An embossed laminate flooring surface is painted with a thin layer of paint, which is then wiped away. This leaves paint
in the embossed spaces, giving it the look of a patina.
NOTE: Patina refers to the change in color and texture on a surface upon contact with
another object; the process is used to reproduce antiquity.
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